18th C. Chinese Export Grisaille Plate – European Scene
Chinese Export porcelain plate, c. 1750.
Dimensions: Approximately 9” diameter.
The rim is edged with gold and is decorated with 4 floral sprays.
The cavetto is decorated with a diaper band with 4 panels of flowers.
The center is decorated with a complex and detailed European scene with numerous individuals. On the left is a shepherd with his sheep and to the right a picnic group beneath a large tree. Above these is a river with a boat and a fisherman on the bank. Beyond this is a town, a bridge, and, on the right, additional individuals.
A plate of this design is illustrated in Hervouet and Bruneau, “La Porcelaine Des Compagnies Des Indies A Décor Occidental” at page 97, item 4.50.
The reverse is unmarked and bears a tag “Colleccao Conde da Povoa, Count of Povoa Collection”.
The term “grisaille” derives from the French word gris (gray) and, in art, refers to painting executed entirely in monochromatic tones of gray and white.
Regarding Chinese export porcelain, the term “grisaille”, and the similar terms “en grisaille” and “encre de Chine”, refer to designs drawn primarily in black, similar to a drawing in ink. These designs may also be found enhanced by the addition of gold or polychrome enamels.
Because many examples were decorated with religious imagery, the technique has also been called “Jesuit Ware” regardless of the design.
Condition: Hairline on rim, minor chips to the rim and stain on the reverse that appear to be from a plate hanger; otherwise in excellent condition consistent with age and usage.